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Moscow deputies appeal to State Duma to ensure housing for children of Soviet repression victims

Source: Meduza

Deputies from the Moscow City Duma and municipal councils from the Moscow region have written a letter calling on the State Duma to comply with a Constitutional Court ruling on compensation for housing lost during repressions in the Soviet period. A copy of the letter was obtained by Meduza.

The letter recalls that in December 2019, Russia’s Constitutional Court affirmed that rehabilitated victims of political repressions, as well as any children born in the Gulag system or in exile, have the right to receive housing in the cities where their families lived at the time of the repression.

Three daughters of repressed Moscow residents had submitted the complaints that initiated the high court case. The three elderly women were requesting housing in Moscow, where their families lived prior to being deported. However, the Moscow authorities denied them social housing on the grounds that they didn’t meet the requirement of already being residents of the capital. 

Russia’s State Duma is set to consider two bills on housing compensation for victims of Soviet repressions in November, the letter says. The first draft law, developed by the government, proposes that housing compensation be handed out “in the manner prescribed by the legislation of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation” (in other words, according to regional legislation, rather than federal law). The authors of the letter maintain that if this bill is approved “victims of repression will end up at the very end of the general queue for housing,” which on average lasts 25 years in Moscow.

The authors of the appeal to the State Duma call on lawmakers to reject the government’s bill and adopt an alternative document, which was submitted by lawmakers Sergey Mironov and Galina Khovanskaya from the party “A Just Russia.” The alternative draft law proposes giving victims of Soviet repressions priority when it comes to federal cash payments for the construction or purchase of housing in the place where their families lived at the time of the repression.

The Moscow deputies sent the letter to the State Duma on the Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repression, which is commemorated in Russia on October 30.

The Federal Law “On the rehabilitation of victims of political repressions” was adopted in 1991, securing the right to housing for the children of victims of Soviet political repressions in the cities where their families used to live. However, in 2004, Russia’s regions were granted the right to establish additional restrictions on the provision of housing for these victims. As a result, those seeking housing in Moscow were placed in the general queue for social housing, leaving them to wait for several years.

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